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Commonwealth University experiences an increase in enrollment post-merger

On Aug. 28 Commonwealth University announced that the school has experienced more than a 10% increase in first-year students and a 25% increase in graduate students since Commonwealth’s beginnings.

The news of this increase in enrollment marks a turning point in life post-integration. The merger of Bloomsburg University with Lock Haven and Mansfield in 2022 was the result of a steady decrease in enrollment rates across the three campuses.

The York Daily Record reported that Bloomsburg’s enrollment rate dropped 8% between 2020 and 2022. This slow but steady change in rates leaves the university feeling hopeful for the future of Commonwealth University.

“As we enter the second year of Commonwealth University, the rise we have seen in enrollment and the strength of our incoming class of students demonstrates the university’s commitment to providing an educational experience rich with opportunity that is both affordable and accessible for students and families across Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Bashar Hanna, the president of Commonwealth University, in the Aug. 28 statement.

Several departments on campus are seeing this increase in action. Dr. Kimberly Olszewski, the Senior Associate Dean for the School of Nursing, remarks that the program has grown significantly in this past year.

“The [f]reshmen [n]ursing [c]lass is the largest class to be admitted in the history of undergraduate nursing at Bloomsburg. We welcomed 241 freshmen, which is about 45% higher than typically admitted,” said Olszewski.

The College of Education and Human Studies and Ziegler College of Business (ZCOB) have also experienced growth within their departments.

“From the initial data I have seen, we have definitely seen some increase in enrollments in… [ZCOB],” said Dean of ZCOB, Dr. Todd Shawver.

While many attributed this development to the meticulous planning of Commonwealth administrators, others chalk it up to being a sign of the times in higher education.

“There are some early signs nationally, that post-covid, there is increasing interest among college students and high school students pursuing higher education to consider degrees in education and human studies – to serve a greater good and contribute to the betterment of society and individuals’ education and quality of life. Fall enrollments at CU of PA and in our College reflect this promising trend,” said Dr. Ann Larson, the dean of the College of Education and Human Studies.

Larger crowds of students walking the quad show an increase in number of students on campus . (Novalea Verno)
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Novalea Verno, Editor-in-Chief

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